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First painting day of spring

April 28, 2013

At last, at last! Winter finally shuffles off the stage. It’s been teasing us – gradually warming, but clouding over every time you think about drawing. I’ve been champing at the bit for weeks. Living in Canada is a serious disadvantage for plein air painters. We just don’t get enough days like this.



I’ve never been to the Lachine Canal – but you can trust urban sketching will eventually take you to every corner of your city. My first impression is, it’s basically the LA river, which is basically a drainage ditch. Maybe I’m being to hard on the old canal – perhaps it’s more scenic when the water is up and the trees leaf in.

One advantage of today’s low tide – you can see the urban fossils in the river bed. Bike skeletons stuck in the mud, encrusted with barnacles. I didn’t sketch those today – (L got some great shots tho – so perhaps some studio pieces will  happen). But this wasn’t that kind of day! Today is for color! Spring is here!


Next month’s outing – May 26th – I think we’re going to go to the Tam Tams on the mountain near Parc and Mount Royal. That should be a great people sketching opportunity. If you’re in town, come join us.



8 Comments leave one →
  1. Bill Sharp permalink
    April 28, 2013 10:28 PM

    beautiful painings, as always. I’m curious about your easel setup. In an earlier post, you mentioned that you used the En Plein Air Pro system. The picture above looks somewhat different. Do you mind saying what you’re using there?

  2. marctaro permalink*
    April 28, 2013 10:46 PM

    Good eyes! Saw that already eh? I’m actually still using the main tray from my E.M. plein air pro – but I’m mounting it on a Manfrotto tripod with a horizontal bar attachment replacing the standard camera head – that plus some clamps holds the painting and a little side table for the palette. It’s meant to hold two cameras for stereo photography, or a camera and a laptop for digital shooting. Got it all at B&H photo online. I’m planning to use it to shoot some timelapse later this summer. (If all goes well).

  3. PhiipPhlop permalink
    April 28, 2013 11:15 PM

    Hey I may just be at Tam Tams next Sunday too! :D I may just have to come by and visit.

  4. April 29, 2013 4:03 AM

    Mark looks like you are still in “colourful” drawing mode … Excellent composition, gorgeous reflections and marvellous painting … Can you tell what brushes and paint to you usually use?

    • marctaro permalink*
      April 29, 2013 5:29 PM

      it’s just the usual watercolorists stuff – Windsor and Newton, sometimes Holbein tube color – both in transparent watercolors and sometimes some opaque gouache mixed in. I use synthetic round brushes for everything. I might switch to sable later this year – will see – that’s expensive! :) :)

      • May 2, 2013 10:49 AM

        Thank you Marc – like your pallette and I always impressed with your tree branches. I just got Zbukvic’s synthetic round brushes which have a very good point – hopefully it will help. Looking forward for new posts from you

  5. April 29, 2013 5:51 AM

    Ah, spring! That fleeting, tender green…

    Lovely paintings!

  6. April 30, 2013 11:41 AM

    Love what you made out of that “drainage ditch”, Marc! Those are beautiful paintings. The Lachine gets better as the weather improves…I wanted to join the group but I have to sing on Sundays until the end of June. Did a small sketch in-between services though, in the spirit of the day! It certainly feels great to be outside again.

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